Vintage Stereo Receivers ~ Tuners ~ Amps

Technics SA-818

Technics SA-818 (1980) 110 WPC  (1980) $400

(shipping not available for this unit)

This stunning "monster" Technics SA-818 has a special place in the history of vintage gear as it signaled the end of the "Golden Age of HiFi".  One of the last of the big boys...

This beauty was obtained from the original owner who purchased it new in 1980 and it has been well cared's in excellent condition.  

Minimum rated power is 110 watts per channel @ 8ohms but with the volume at just 10 o' clock, it's enough to get you evicted.

This is an extremely rare blackface European dual-voltage edition with US military PX "FEE" designation at the end of serial number. As such, the black anodized aluminum faceplate version was only available through the US Army PX in Germany while the silver face units were only available in North America. 

The SA-818 silver face was produced for only one year in limited numbers and VERY few of the black Euro versionsIt has been said that the SA-818 symbolizes the end of the sample receivers and the switch to more compact digital units.  

It listed for a whopping $850.00 when introduced in 1980 and weighs just under 41 pounds.

One of the SA-818's features was called "Synchro-bias" which was a change in the circuitry to eliminate distortion from transistors switching on and off. It's rated maximum THD (total harmonic distortion) is .005% or less!!

It also has quartz synthesized tuning and a "Class A" amplifier section along with LED meters instead of the older analog needle meters (Vu). 

With all of its multi-colored LEDs across the front lit up and blinking like a Christmas tree when powered on and pumping out some volume, this Class A receiver is rated at a very conservative 110 watts per channel...and you can definitely feel it.There's hardly a hint of any noticeable cosmetic flaws anywhere on (or in) this gorgeous receiver.  The silver metal knobs, black faceplate, huge sculptured walnut case and array of lights combined with a massive power supply make for a very unique and very rare opportunity.


Founded in the 1920's, the huge Japanese conglomerate Matsushita had interests in many electronics companies.  The most well known would be Technics and Panasonic. Technics was introduced as a brand name for premium loudspeakers marketed domestically by Matsushita in 1965.  Eventually, Technics became a premium brand bringing classics like the SL-1200mkii turntable and the absolute monster receiver at the top of the list: Technics SA-1000 (330 watts per channel)



Kenwood KR-4070

Kenwood KR-4070 ('78-'79) 40W x 2 $185

Looking it like it just came out of the box​, this very cool KR-4070 with upgraded warm blue LED lamps for the FM glass and meters, has a strong tuner section and excellent phono stage. The overall sound is sweet and transparent with many numerous great reviews on the web.  Built to compete with comparable mid-sized Pioneer, Sansui, Yamaha, etc and, according to sales figures, outsold them all.
It  features a wide band power with the same low distortion amplifier and high performance FM tuner you expect from Kenwood. 
Capable of driving two pairs of speakers, it also has the usual aux, phono, and setup for tape. Features: 40 watts per channel, (min. RMS both channels driven at 8 ohms, 20 - 20,000 Hz, with no more than 0,05% THD), 
Direct-coupled pure complementary amplifier circuit, quietest phono section in its class: 83 dB S/N, 3-gang tuning capacitor and FET front end for high FM sensitivity (2.0 µV ) with low distortion, PLL in FM Multiplex for improved stereo separation, Large signal strength and FM center-tune meter and FM Auto Muting. 
In other words, a lot of great stuff in a beautiful vintage receiver.

About Kenwood (Trio)...

Established in 1946 as the Kasuga Radio Co. Ltd. in Komagane City, Japan, in 1960 the company was renamed Trio Corporation. In 1963 the first overseas office was founded in Los Angeles.

In the early 1960s, Trio's products were rebranded by the Lafayette Radio Co with a focus on CB radio.

An importer of Japanese-made electronics Radio Shack (Realistic, Tandy Corp) was A&A Trading Co., and a bilingual Japanese-speaking manager from there established a company that would be the exclusive importer of Trio products.

The name Kenwood was invented by Kasuga as being the combination of "Ken", a name common to Japan and North America that had been tested and proven acceptable to American consumers in the name of Kenmore appliance (Sears) \, and "Wood", referring to the durable substance as well as suggesting a relation to Hollywood.  The brand recognition of Kenwood eventually surpassed that of Trio's, and in 1986 Trio bought Kenwood and renamed itself Kenwood.  Eventually, Kenwood merged with JVC in 2008 as JVC/Kenwood.


Pioneer SA-7700

Pioneer SA-7700 integrated amplifier (1978) 60W x 2 $165

One of Pioneer's typically great integrated designs, the SA-7700 has the silver face with walnut veneer top and side panels and is rated at 50 watts per channel.  A reliable workhorse, the 7700 can be the anchor in almost any mid-powered stereo system being put together as separate components.  As it was with many of the vintage units of this era, the cheap walnut veneer film is peeling in some parts but doesn't look too bad.  There's something about the look of these Pioneer units that makes them stand out from the pack...

Pioneer SX-550

Pioneer SX-550 (1977) 20W x 2 $165

The Pioneer SX-550 is one of the ​very cool​ receivers that Pioneer ​designated as​ the successor to the popular SX-535​. ​ ​Conservatively rated at 20 watts per channel​, it feels like a lot more​. ​ I​ntroduced in 1977 , i​​t has the ​very popular and great styling of the late 70's Pioneer SX line with the silver face​, ​faceted knobs​ and real​ wood​ veneer​ side panels ​and walnut veneer metal top.​ Among its many features are the weighted ​a​nalog ​f​lywheel ​t​uning​, ​precision ​tuning ​meter​, ​FM ​s​tereo ​s​ignal ​i​ndicator ​l​ight​, ​3 ​g​ang ​t​uning ​s​ection​, ​controls ​f​or ​b​ass, ​t​reble, and ​b​alance​,​ loudness ​s​witch​, ​stereo/​m​ono ​s​witch​, ​inputs ​f​or ​a​ux, ​t​ape ​d​eck, and ​p​hono​, and more.​

About Pioneer...

Not much needs to be said about Pioneer other then the simple fact that the name is known worldwide for above average quality and excellence in high fidelity component design.  They were the unchallenged leader in stereo advertising and marketing in the 70's.  Back in the day, Pioneer made it clear that if you didn't have a Pioneer stereo system in your house (or college dorm) you just didn't have the right stuff.



Hafler P500

Hafler P-500 amplifier ('80-'89) 255W x 2 @ 8 ohms  

This Hafler P500 is in good working condition and best described as a high power, two-channel audio amplifier intended for professional or home use.  It's level of performance and reliability have been amply demonstrated in the success of it's counterpart in the consumer market, the DH500, for many years.   It's a lot of fun having this much power at your disposal - seemingly unlimited headroom.  It's nominal power output is rated at 255 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo) and 800W into 8Ω(mono) Its incredible frequency response is 8Hz to 85kHz with a total harmonic distortion of 0.025%.  Heavy at 53 lbs and solid as a tank, this Hafler is a real beast.

Hafler DH-200

Hafler DH-200 (1979) 100W x 2 $200

This one has the original Hitachi output MOSFETs and all new fuses.
Plug it in and forget about it .. match it to the highest possible quality pre-amp you can afford because it has dynamics and detail in spades.
It will drive below 4 ohms (e.g. Gale 401s and KEF 104/2 etc.) with ease. Gordon King in HiFi News and Record Review saiditwas the finest amp he had heardAnd, unlike a lot of other amps, do not worry about the impedance of your loudspeakers this baby works down to 2 ohms with panache.
Now, if you were to take the insides and put it in a nice fancy solid aluminum case perhaps it would have been taken more seriously by the unknowing masses.  In its time (and even today) all in all, it's a wonderful amplifier unequaled in its price range and well above.

About Hafler...

Right from the very early years of high fidelity, David Hafler introduced the world to high performance audio with his range of Dynaco preamps, tuners and amplifiers. Today, Hafler continues the tradition by producing the very finest audio components that enthuse and enthrall those that have a particular bend towards spectacular audio.

All Hafler products are designed and hand made in North America, using the finest components while every possible effort is made to reduce odd-order harmonic distortion, minimize phase shift and broaden the frequency response to ensure the signal transfer from source to destination is pristine and color free.


Sansui G-5700

Sansui G-5700 ('79-'80) 75W x 2 $325

Pure Power! That was the tag line for Sansui's G-Series receivers from the late 70's and they lived up to the advertising hype.
This mid-high range Sansui G-5700 at a conservative 75 watts per channel is one great performer.   
A "hybrid" receiver of sorts with its analog and digital tuners, digital power meters, luxurious faceplate design and its real rosewood veneer case make this a desirable beauty.
In fact, many audio enthusiasts make the claim that the Sansui G series receivers are some of the best receivers ever made in terms of both build quality and performance. The audio industry was evolving at the time and technology was advancing to a point where audio equipment could do a far better job of amplifying sound in a manner that kept it as close to the original recorded sound as possible. Sansui's DC circuitry did just that.The G-5700 was produced from 1979 to 1980 and really is a great representative of the vintage audio years. 

Founded in Tokyo in 1947, Sansui initially manufactured electronic parts.  By the 1960s, they had developed a reputation for making serious audio components. They were sold in foreign markets through that and the next decade. Sansui's amplifiers and tuners from the 1960s and 1970s continue to remain in high demand by audio enthusiasts.


Marantz 2252B

Marantz 2252B ('77-'79) 52W x 2 SOLD

A direct quote from a highly respected audio publication:
"The Marantz 2252B is one of the best performers out of all the Marantz models.  It's well known for its warm sound and exceptional build quality. Add to that 52 watts per channel and you've got yourself a good receiver."

Here we have some "old-school" high-fidelity from California-based Marantz  when they were still designing sane components producing sane WATTS : when 2 channel stereo at 52 watts per channel felt like 152 watts per channel.
Direct current symmetrical SEPP output with one big transformer, two big caps, four pairs of Marantz-tagged bipolar transistors (A753 / C1343) mounted on big heatsinks - the word is BIG! Gyro-geared PLL MPX dual-gate MOS-Fet 4-gang tuner section (3 for FM) with 200Khz ceramic filters and Baxandall triple L/R tone controls.  Considering this was 1977, it was feature-packed indeed.  And solid.  And, don't can connect two turntables. two pairs of speakers, two tape loops and an auxiliary as well.

This 2252B has the original black metal case (for an additional cost and to be found elsewhere, it can be fitted with an original Marantz WC-22 wooden case).  This 2252B is operating perfectly.  It has seven 8v 300 ma fuse lamps across the FM window and twin meters.  The fuse lamps are incandescent and have soft a glow that makes the beautiful, industrial designed, silver faceplate on the Marantz quite beautiful to look under low room light.  (We can upgrade with LEDs for a minimal charge.)

About Marantz in late 70's..
Parent company Superscope had purchased the Marantz company in 1964.  Now, of course, Marantz, in the 60's ,was a small but very prestigious hi-fi company founded by Saul Marantz, a genius in his own right.  To their credit, Superscope did an excellent job of keeping the Marantz name in rock solid position as one of the premier names in high fidelity.  However, by the mid to late -70's, they (Superscope)  were  in serious financial trouble but ,nevetheless, they still had the Marantz products to keep producing fine, well-built, highly respected and profitable gear.  Unfortunately, even though Superscope was producing budget products under their own badge, the confusion of seeing "Made by Marantz" on some of that budget gear confused a lot of people and, eventually, even though the genuine Marantz products were indeed much better, people began to think they were all the same.  But they weren't.  As the often quoted phrase goes: "Superscope was the poor man's Marantz"


Onkyo TX-4500MKii

Onkyo TX 4500 MKII (1980) 65W x 2  $265

This super clean TX-4500MKii was, at the time, the first stereo receiver with quartz-synchronization for the FM band.  Even though its predecessor, the original version TX-4500 was a successful Onkyo upper middle class receiver, Onkyo decided to redesign the 4500 so the MKii version was optimized.  Upgraded components packed into the same chassis resulted in an additional 10 watts more than the first version and was rated at a conservative (and honest)65 watts per channel.  
And, for the display scale, they used real thick glass. With its already desirable industrial design, this was an added expression of timeless elegance. It's a heavy receiver with solid high power, enough to drive 3 pairs of speakers.  The trademark look of this series, the rosewood veneer on metal along with the four hex bolts holding the front glass, gives it a "top shelf" appeal.
Onkyo was so pleased with the overall success of the TX-4500MKii that, out of the hundreds of products they designed all that time,  it was the featured receiver on the print sheets for their 70th Anniversary.

About Onkyo...
The word Onkyo translates as "sound harmony".  Starting out in 1946, Osaka Denki ONKYO K.K. is established and begins manufacturing phonograph pickups. The CP-1000 turntable was the first product to bear the ONKYO brand.  They also manufactured integrated stereo systems throughout the years but they majored in turntables, early amps, preamps, stereo receivers and also the cassette tape format beginning in 1981 with the TA-W800, the world's first high-speed dubbing, double-cassette tape deck with a wide variety of tape-editing functions.
They hit their high mark in the late 70's with the TX-xxxx series of stereo receivers, tuners and amps.  Onkyo kept pace with, and in some ways exceeded, the strong competition from Pioneer, Sansui, Marantz, Optonica, etc.  The stereo wars of the 70's yielded so many great products and Onkyo is right there with the best of them.
Today, Onkyo is still a global brand and their Integra series is well respected.


MCS 3249

MCS (NEC) 3249 (1979) 45W x 2 $165

We've had a few Modular Component Series units over the years and are no longer surprised by the very good quality and build.   

In literally mint condition, this late 70's MCS 3249 stereo receiver (built in Japan by NEC for JC Penney) is another solid, good looking vintage piece.  
The very accurate digital synthesized tuning section has digital power meters and tuning lock.  The LED station numbers are spot on and have no issues.  We also replaced the interior foam "springs" on the tuning push buttons since this was about the only issue this series ever had.  Rated at 45 watts per channel, it's got lots of headroom beyond that rating.  Unlike most receivers of the era that had just bass and treble controls, this one adds the midrange as well.  Flawless aluminum faceplate, smooth and accurate controls and the pristine walnut case make this an excellent value and one very good performer.  To be quite honest, this is a rock solid and reliable receiver.  End of story... 

About MCS (Modular Component Systems)...
MCS was the house brand for JC Penney back in the 70's and was often passed over by audiophiles simply because it was sold by Penney's.  However, in our opinion, whoever worked for JC Penney's electronics acquisition department at the time certainly had discerning taste which resulted in some very good products being offered. There is some debate over who actually manufactured the MCS series for JC Penney. Most seem to agree that it was either NEC while others mention Technics. 
Probably the different models in the MCS line were made by different manufacturers, all of whom designed great products for Penney's.  By the late 70's, it was near the end of the receiver power wars and despite the fact that most of the mid to high range MCS units had actually incorporated some of the latest technology at the time, digital was looming on the horizon and was about to change the face of HiFi.



Concept 3.5

Concept 3.5 ('75-'78) 35W x 2  $185 (price reduced)

We love to find excellent, hard to find vintage gear...especially when they are as nice as this 3.5 which is in near mint condition. Very conservatively rated at 35 watts per channel, this rare Concept 3.5 is a heavy duty, well designed, stereo receiver known for it great bass control, sound stage presentation and a very accurate tuner, The direct-coupled power amplifier section uses high gain voltage amplification with rugged output transistors for a stabilized, high speed configuration. A large toroidal power transformer supplies enough power for the most demanding musical peaks.  Unlike most comparable receivers in this class, the 3.5 was designed with internals that were ahead of their time...just like all the Concept receivers, regardless of size and power.  As with all the Concept receivers, this too has one of their trademark design elements...a nice rosewood veneer case.

About Concept...
Recognized universally as some of the very best stereo receivers ever made, the Concept receivers circuitry was designed in-house, by Dick Schramm, at Pacific Stereo (late 70's California). Tom Ishimoto, former product development manager of Marantz, also had a hand in building some of the Concept line at NEC of Japan. The bulk of the manufacturing was done by TCE, an electronics manufacturing division of Tandy Corp. (Tandy was the parent company of U.S. electronics retail chain Radio Shack). A lot of effort was made in upgrading the Concept design capabilities, and TCE's production techniques at the time were described as "terrific". Several other manufacturers were considered for the Concept receivers, but, as far as Schram was concerned, TCE was by far the best. They had gifted engineers who were excited to work on some REAL hi-fidelity audio products and became very loyal to him during the entire process. The Concept credo was "better quality parts, operated with more margin of safety, superior circuits and no shortcuts" - that's why they last so long and still sound as good today.

More about Pacific Stereo (and Concept...)

The Concept line of stereo receivers were offered by Pacific Stereo as their top tier house brands. (in order, top to bottom: Concept, Reference by Quadraflex, Quadraflex and TransAudio) The top of the line was the Concept 16.5 (165 watts per channel, considered by many to be the best stereo receiver ever made!).  Basically, when a customer went into a Pacific Stereo store looking for Pioneer, Sansui, Kenwood, etc, the salesman would steer them toward one of the "house" brands, the best of which were the Concepts.  Normally you might think that the house brand would be some cheaply made unit designed for maximum profit to the retailer. But, in this case, the Concepts (and secondarily, the Reference series) were very well built and high performing receivers.  Especially the Reference 650FETR which was Richard Schram's baby all the way, a very fine stereo receiver that deserves to be in any serious audiophile's collection.


Rotel RX-603 (different lighting in the photos makes the wood a bit lighter or darker)

Rotel RX-603 (1977) 45W x 2  $200

Hard to find and in near mint condition with a beautiful, retro-fit, custom, teak finish case for that classy vintage look of warmth.
This solid Rotel RX-603 is a massive block of well-designed aluminum, packed with superior components that​ rarely need servicing.  One of the best features is its ability to be used a really nice preamp by removing the jumpers on the back. The distinctive front faceplate has the signature Rotel FM window shape that sets them apart from all other receivers of the 70's.  The RX-603 was conservatively rated at a minimum 45 watts per channel but online meter tests have shown they yield closer to 52 watts per channel. Real aluminum knobs, large rectangular push buttons, factory rack handles and a pleasing soft yellow dial light are just a few more features of this very excellent vintage piece.

About Rotel... Rotel is a family-owned Japanese manufacturer of high end audio and video equipment. The company was established in 1961. In the early 1980s Rotel joined the B&W Group forming a strategic alliance with Bowers and Wilkins and later adding Classé Audio.


Sony ST-S550ES tuner

Sony ST-S550ES tuner (1991) $125

As a component of one of their their very nice quality ES systems, ​Sony succeeded in building ​this excellent​ digital tuner with analog characteristics.​  ​This piece is extreme​ly attractive with real ​rosewood veneer ​wood​en​ side panels​. ​ ​Used with a conventional analog system as a separate unit, it provides​ a warm,​ ​yet detailed sound​.  

Included, for a matching Sony ST-850ES cassette deck in VGC that does need belts.  We will leave that repair up to the buyer.​